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Research Hypotheses and Questions. Research Hypotheses and Questions. Research hypotheses Directional Is a prediction of a study outcome. First grade girls will perform better on a reading comprehension test than first grade boys.

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Research Hypotheses and Questions

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Research Hypotheses and Questions


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Research Hypotheses and Questions

  • Research hypotheses

  • Directional

    • Is a prediction of a study outcome.

      • First grade girls will perform better on a reading comprehension test than first grade boys.

      • Children shown an adult interacting aggressively towards a doll will engage in more violent acts than children who observe an adult interact non-aggressively with the same doll.


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Research Hypotheses and Questions (cont.)

  • Non-directional

    • Girls will score differently than boys on a measure of self esteem.

    • The reading achievement of students exposed to phonics instruction will differ from students exposed to whole language instruction.


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Research Hypotheses and Questions

  • Research Question

    • Differ from hypotheses by the generality of the question.

      • How do students perceive the new curriculum?

      • How do students of minority groups interpret that way they are represented in the media?


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Variables


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Measurement

  • Is the assignment of numerals to objects.

    • Nominal

      • Examples: Gender, party affiliation, and place of birth

    • Ordinal

      • Examples: SES, Student rank, and Place in race

    • Interval

      • Examples: Test scores, personality and attitude scales.

    • Ratio

      • Examples: Weight, length, reaction time, and number of responses


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Understanding Variables and Hypotheses

  • Objects

    • Things that one does research on.

      • People, districts, nations, etc.

  • Properties of objects

    • Give us a way to talk about how objects are alike and how they differ.

  • Scores

    • Values on the property of interest

      • Must be at least two.


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Values

  • Exhaustive

    • Must be able to assign a value to all objects.

  • Mutually Exclusive

    • Each object can only be assigned one of a set of values.

  • A variable with only one value is not a variable.

    • It is a constant.


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How variables are used

  • Two major piles

    • Descriptive and causal

  • Descriptive

    • Describes a population in relation to one or more variables.

      • Sex bias in textbooks

      • Trends in dropout rates

  • Causal

    • Does A cause B

    • Associations between A and B

      • Is the observed relationship greater than would be expected by chance?


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Hypothesis

  • A proposed explanation for a phenomenon.

    • Two types

      • Casual order - 'A causes B'

      • Empirical generalizations – ‘A is related to B’


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Sorting Out Variables in a Study

  • Purpose of most empirical studies in behavioral research is to identify causal relationships.

    • Independent variables (IV)

      • Causes, determinants, predictors, factors.

    • Dependent variables (DV)

      • Consequences, outcomes, effects


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Dissecting Hypotheses

  • Identify the two variables and sort them into IV and DV.

  • Describe each variable.

    • Object, property, mode of variation, elaborate on mode of variation.

  • Specify the relationship expected between the two variables.

  • Note the unit of analysis implied or actually used.


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Additional comments

  • Simple Hypotheses have only two variables--bivariate relations.

    • H.1: Authoritarian principals are more effective than non-authoritarian principals

      • What are the names of the two variables?

      • How do they vary?

  • Complex Hypotheses have more than two variables

    • H.1: Authoritarian principals are more effective than non-authoritarian principals when goals are clear, but non-authoritarian principals are more effective when goals are ambiguous.

      • What are the names of the three variables?

      • How do they vary?


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Practice

  • H.1: The greater the weight of a five-year old, the taller the child.

    • What is the object?

    • What are the variables?

    • What are the names of the variables?

    • How do they vary-categorical or continuous?

    • What is the independent variable?

    • What is the dependent variable?


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Practice

  • H.2: Authoritarian principals command more loyalty than non-authoritarian ones when they have influence, but non-authoritarian principals command greater loyalty when principals lack influence.

    • What is the object?

    • What are the variables?

    • What are the names of the variables?

    • How do they vary-categorical or continuous?

    • What is the independent variable?

    • What is the dependent variable?


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  • H.3. Secondary teachers are more custodial in pupil control ideology than elementary teachers.

    • What is the object?

    • What are the variables?

    • What are the names of the variables?

    • How do they vary-categorical or continuous?

    • What is the independent variable?

    • What is the dependent variable?


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H. 4. Academic achievement will be greater among students taught by autocratic teachers than those taught by permissive teachers.

  • What is the object?

  • What are the variables?

  • What are the names of the variables?

  • How do they vary-categorical or continuous?

  • What is the independent variable?

  • What is the dependent variable?


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The Ethics of Using Human Participants


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  • Ethics

    • the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.

    • the principles of conduct governing an individual or a profession


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Ethical Issues

  • A questionnaire on alcohol use seeks information about growing up in an alcoholic family.

  • Students in an intro psychology class get extra credit for completing a survey.

  • Respondents to a survey are offered monetary compensation for completing the survey.

  • A questionnaire on workplace stress asks teachers how often they drink alcohol.


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The History of Human Participants Ethics

  • The Need for Action

    • Nazi Doctors

      • The Nuremburg Code (1949).

    • The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1930 – 1972)

    • The Milgram Study (1961-1962)


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Milgram Experiment

  • Social scientists wanted to know how people like Hitler and Mussolini were able to get soldiers and citizens to do terrible things.

  • Participants were led to believe they were part of a teaching and memory study in which they would shock another person (the “student”) if he could not remember a word correctly.

  • Participants were told to continue by experimenter (the “scientist”) even if the student protested in pain.


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Milgram (cont.)

  • Based on this research, we found out the people will often follow authority figures to extremes. In fact 2/3 of the subjects were willing to shock the student to the maximum, dangerous level.

  • Participants were most likely to “go all the way” when the “scientist” was wearing a lab coat and had a clipboard, he deferred the responsibility to science, and the “student” was out of view

  • In order to discover this knowledge however, researchers produced extreme anxiety in participants.

  • Was it worth it?


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1974

  • The Belmont Report

    • Respect for Persons

    • Beneficence

    • Justice

  • The National Research Act

    • Research plans must be approved

    • Do no harm (physically or mentally)

    • Informed Consent

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (The Buckley Amendment)

    • Confidentiality of Data

    • “Legitimate Educational Interest”


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Question

  • “Any sort of study that is likely to cause lasting, or even serious harm or discomfort to any participant should not be conducted, unless the research has the potential to provide information of extreme benefit to humans”

    • Would you agree? If so, why? What might be an example of such information?


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Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes

  • 1968 - Jane Elliot, grade school teacher in Iowa conducted a classroom experiment to test whether racism was a learned characteristic

  • Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes - an experiment to “create racism”

  • Jane Elliot divided her 4th grade class into two groups based on eye color

  • The Brown eyed group were told they were superior due to the amount of melanin, a color-causing chemical in their blood.

  • Were told the blue eyed group were stupid, lazy and not to be trusted

  • Blue eyed group were given strips of cloth to be worn around their necks for easy identification


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Blue Eyed Group

Were not allowed to drink directly from water fountains

Weren’t allowed second helpings at lunch

Were given shorter recess

Brown Eyed Group

Were allowed to boss the blue eyed group

Could have second helpings at lunch

Were given a longer recess

Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes

What do you think happened?


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Results: Blue Eyed Group

Those of the "inferior" color exhibited negative feelings of self-loathing and fear

Results: Brown Eyed Group

Students of the "superior" color began to oppress those of the "inferior" color

Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes


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Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes

  • Jane Elliot concluded from the experiment that racism is indeed a learned characteristic

  • She went on to replicate the experiment with similar results

  • Ethical Question:

    • Does what was learned from the experiment justify the psychological trauma experienced by some of the students?


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Informed Consent

  • Participant must be aware of what they will be asked to do in the study.

  • Participant must freely choose to participate. (“participants are given explicit assurances of the voluntary nature of their involvement”)

  • Consent must come from guardian for minors and those with diminished capacity. They themselves should give assent.


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Informed Consent

  • Participants are free to withdraw at any time.

  • Information should be given in language the participant can understand.

  • The information should help them decide whether to participate.

  • Information must include risks and benefits.


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Consent vs. Assent

  • Take a look at the consent and assent forms.

  • How do they differ?

  • As a parent would you give your consent?

    • Why or why not?


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Research With Children

  • Studies using children as participants present some special issues for researchers.

  • The young are more vulnerable, have fewer legal rights, and may not understand the language of informed consent.

  • The following guidelines below need to be considered:

    • Informed consent of the parents or guardians is required regarding the use of minors as subjects

    • Researchers do not present themselves as diagnosticians or counselors in reporting results to parents, nor do they report information given by children in confidence

    • Children may never be coerced into participation in any study

    • Any form of remuneration for the child’s services does not affect the application of these ethical principles


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Case Study

Surveyed Asian and Pacific Islander high school students

regarding their sexual practices. Individuals unaffiliated with

school proctored the survey. The school district notified

parents of the survey and gave them the opportunity to sign

a form denying permission for their children to participate.

Students could also decline participation, and the names of

the students completing the survey were not recorded.

Respondents were instructed to skip items they preferred

not to answer.

What aspects of the study cause concern?


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Question

  • Identify and Discuss a research study that would present ethical problems if done with children but not if done with adults.


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Confidentiality

  • Personally identifying information will be minimized

  • Access to data and all records will be restricted to those with Legitimate Interest

  • Anonymous vs. Confidential Participation


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Three Levels of IRB Review

  • Exempted Review

    • Secondary Data

    • Surveys, Interviews, Public Observations, Educational Tests

    • Educational Settings

  • Expedited Review

    • Studies involving minimal risk

    • Studies involving children, prisoners, pregnant women, mentally disabled, in-vitro fertilization, “other vulnerable populations”

    • blood samples, other biological specimens collected without invasion

    • “collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes”

  • Full Review

  • ALL RESEARCH SHOULD BE REVIEWED.


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Question

  • Sometimes the design of a study makes necessary the use of concealment or deception.

    • Discuss how you feel about using concealment and/or deception.

    • Can you suggest a circumstance when deception might be justified?


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Deception in Research

  • Psychologists do not conduct a study involving deception unless they have determined that the use of deceptive techniques is justified by the study’s value and that equally effective alternative procedures are not feasible

  • Never deceive participants about significant aspects that would affect their willingness to participate, such as physical risks, discomfort, or unpleasant emotional experience.

  • Any deception used must be explained to participants as early as is feasible, preferably at the end of participation, but no later than the conclusion of the research


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Debriefing

  • Provide prompt opportunity for participants to obtain appropriate info about the nature, results, and conclusion

    • Correct any misconceptions

    • If a delay is justified reduce the risk of harm

  • The psychologist must take reasonable measures to honor all commitments made to research participants

  • the experimenter is duty-bound to make certain that the debriefing returns them to their "pre-experimental state."


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Question

  • Are there any research questions that should not be investigated in schools? If so, give an example and explain why you feel it is inappropriate.


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Havasupai Issue

  • What happened to the Havasupai?

  • Why are the questions the researchers asked offensive to some Havasupai?

  • Do you think the researchers behaved in an ethical manner?

  • What are the future consequences of the researchers’ actions?


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Questions

  • Suppose a researcher wants to keep a class of third-grade children in from recess to administer and attitude-towards-school scale. The purpose is to help teachers understand their students’ attitudes and how they might affect students’ achievements.

    • Is there a potential for harm in this case?

    • Would it be wise to seek informed consent from parents?

      • Why? Why not?


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  • A researcher interviewed adolescents on their possible us of marijuana (with their informed consent). During the course of the interviews, some participants named other individuals who use marijuana but had not provided informed consent.

    • Does this raise ethical concerns?

    • What, if anything, can the researcher do to protect the other individuals?


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  • Suppose one of your instructors asked you to be a participant in a research project but did not tell you the purpose of the research.

    • Would you ask for information on these points before deciding whether to participate?

    • Would you feel pressured to participate?


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